Friday, June 7, 2019

Reading about Reptiles

While I was walking around Dead Horse Point a couple weeks ago, a fat lizard scurried across the trail and under a shrub. That reminded me that I had a cool lizard book to share. So today's themes are animals, reptiles, and nature

Like a Lizard
by April Pulley Sayre; illus. by Stephanie Laberis
32 Pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2019

Can you run like a lizard? Sun like a lizard?

What about pushups? Or dashing across water like a lizard? If you could live like a lizard, you’d have lots of choices about how to behave. That’s because there are about 6300 kinds of lizards living on Earth, and each of them is adapted to its habitat in certain ways. April Pulley Sayre presents an inside look at how 28 lizards make their living.

What I like about this book: I love that each page asks the reader to compare their life with that of a lizard – and each page features specific lizards doing their thing. Like frill-necked lizards showing off their collars, and geckos climbing twigs. I like the bright and realistic illustrations – I never knew about some of these lizards! Plus the cover image: who can resist a face like that? And I like the back matter where lizard secrets are revealed. Most of all, I like April’s message that lizards and people can live together in harmony.

The Truth About Crocodiles
by Maxwell Eaton III
32 Pages, ages 4-8
Roaring Brook Press, 2019

These are crocodilians. Some people call all of them crocodiles. We’ll call them crocs. 

Using text, cartoons, sidebars, and dialog balloons, Maxwell Eaton III introduces readers to the croc families. They include crocodiles, alligators and caimans, and the gharial. Just like lizards these reptiles have armored skin, four legs, breathe air using lungs, and are ectothermic (what people call “cold-blooded”). Mostly they’re at home in the water.

What I like about this book: the crocodile jokes, the breezy illustrations, the birthday girl (who has to deal with all these sassy crocs), and the handy list of things to avoid when traveling in croc country. Hint: don’t camp next to the water! And even though there are plenty of info-packed sidebars throughout the book, there is back matter – a “croc-o-file” of fast facts, a map, and some resources for further research.

Beyond the Books:

Find out more about reptiles here and here.

Go on a reptile field trip. Maybe you live in an area where geckos or horned lizards call home. If not, then check out the reptile house at a local zoo or pet store. Look for photos of different kinds of lizards online - here's one source.

Check out the picture book about crocodiles over at Sally’sBookshelf.

Today we're joining other book bloggers over at STEM Friday, where you can discover other cool STEM books. And we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copies/ARCs provided by publishers.


  1. Comparing your life with a lizard? What a cool idea. Kids are generally fascinated with lizards and would probably get a kick out of comparing themselves to one :)

    1. I have discovered that I can't do as many push-ups as a lizard! On the other hand, I don't have scales...

  2. Love your selections this week, Sue! Both covers appeal to me in different ways, the first with it's gorgeous lizard and curious title, and the second with its humor. Looking forward to finding and reading both. Thanks!

  3. The San Francisco Public Library didn't even have these on order, so I suggested them. Cheers!

  4. Like a Lizard looks like a perfect book. I will check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. These are both fun books. And you are right about the geckos face! I look forward to checking them out.

  6. Thanks for sharing these fascinating books that will be kid favorites. I love books written by both of these authors but haven't read these yet. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It has taken me years, but I finally have made friends with lizards after living in a room full of them in Brazil for two weeks. I know there are many varieties - but wow! It's amazing how each adapts to its area of origin. Great pick. And, the lighter and fun crocodile book.